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RE: A "one size fits all" personalized web page?

From: Jason White <jasonw@ariel.ucs.unimelb.edu.au>
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2000 14:22:22 +1100 (EST)
To: Web Content Accessibility Guidelines <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.SOL.4.10.10001141343400.26578-100000@ariel.ucs.unimelb.edu.au>
This thread was discussed at today's meeting. Details can be found in the
minutes, to which Wendy has posted a reference. Those present at the
teleconference were in broad agreement that:

1. The use of "alternative pages" as supplied by a web server, is
permitted in the existing guidelines as a "last resort" option (checkpoint
11.4). Appropriate technical advice may therefore be given in the
Techniques document.

2. Any acceptance of the proposition that "alternative versions" of web
content should be deployed as the principal means of satisfying diverse
user needs, would entail substantial revision of the guidelines and a
radical departure from the principles of universal design which lie at
their foundation. More specifically, control over presentation, instead of
residing in the hands of the user, would be transferred to the author and
the server administrator. Instead of supplying semantically and
structurally rich markup to the client software, the server would provide
presentationally-oriented markup, constituting one of several alternative
presentations defined by the content developer.

3. Participants in the teleconference were unanimously of the view that,
while recognising the need to provide alternative versions of content in
order to accommodate the limitations of certain user agents, for example
those in mobile devices, client-side style sheets, combined with
appropriate XML/HTML/XHTML markup to convey significant semantic and
structural distinctions, offer a more flexible and general solution than
would recourse to server-supplied presentational formats in meeting the
needs of diverse user populations.

4. If the present discussion of server-generated content is to proceed
further, then it must be formulated as a specific proposal to change the
guidelines and/or techniques document, rather than as a general thesis
concerning web accessibility. Though acknowledging the general value of
the discussion so far, working group members considered that a concrete
proposal would need to be offered if the issue were to be pursued farther
in the context of this group and its deliverables.
Received on Thursday, 13 January 2000 22:23:32 GMT

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